French aircraft carrier with coronavirus patients reaches Toulon

The French navy’s only aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, reached its home port of Toulon on Sunday, carrying around 50 crew members infected with the coronavirus, as officials say measures to fight the virus are showing first results.

The number of people dead in connection with the respiratory disease Covid-19 in French hospitals, care and nursing homes rose by 315, the Health Ministry said Sunday, bringing the total to 14,393.

The rise in fatalities is lower than on the previous day, as is the number of people treated in intensive care wards. The epidemic continued to hit the country had, the ministry said, adding cautiously: “We are observing the beginning of a plateau on a very high level.”

Continued vigilance was necessary as there were still many people in hospital, but the measures were showing first results, it added.

The Charles de Gaulle docked in the port of the southern French city on Sunday afternoon, days after the Defence Ministry announced that dozens of crew members had been infected with coronavirus.

Three infected sailors were evacuated from the aircraft carrier on Thursday in what the ministry called a “preventative measure,” without giving details of how the virus had made its way on board.

The vessel, which had been out on the Atlantic when the crew members fell ill, returned to Toulon 10 days earlier than planned.

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Around 1,900 crew members of the Charles de Gaulle and its accompanying frigate will now enter a two-week quarantine in southern France, the French news agency AFP reported, citing the prefecture.

The 50 infected crew members had not experienced any deterioration in their states of health, the prefecture said. (dpa)

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